[ID] => 9978
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2018-08-16 12:50:47
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-16 11:50:47
[post_content] => HCB normally steers away from politics but these days there seems to be so much politics going on it’s hard not to engage.
Since the 2008 crash, voters in democratic countries have – quite understandably – begun to reject traditional politics. Unfortunately, what that has meant is that traditional politicians have, in some places, been replaced by idiots. Riding the wave of populism, they are giving us a return to protectionism, stronger border controls and a likely trade war.
That must be a concern to anyone with a grasp of history, raising memories of the 1920s and 1930s and their culmination in a devastating global war. Any repeat of that outcome would be even more destructive with today’s weaponry.
Nowhere is this position more evident than in the UK, with its impending exit from the EU. As Brexit comes closer – we are little more than six months away – it is alarmingly apparent that the UK government has no idea how the UK’s relationship with the EU will look.
To understand this, we have to go back to politics. There has been a schism within the Conservative Party for decades over Europe. Previous prime ministers – Thatcher and Major in particular – managed to face down the anti-European lobby and hold the party together. The 2016 referendum on EU membership was David Cameron’s attempt to do the same – and it failed spectacularly. Not only did it deliver a result that has divided the country but it has made the schism within the Conservative Party even deeper.
The same rift between pro- and anti-Europeans within the party still exists; the anti-Europe faction insists on a ‘hard’ Brexit, which appears to want a clean break with the EU; the pro-Europeans want some (as yet ill-defined) relationship with the EU. With a weak prime minister in Theresa May, this rift is unlikely to be healed and no compromise seems to be within reach.
It is becoming more likely that this will result in a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Some anti-Europeans seem perfectly happy with this idea but industry is getting extremely itchy about what it could mean – and there seem to be few fall-back options in place.
Coming closer to home, the Department for Transport has at least confirmed that the UK will continue to apply ADR and RID to the domestic transport of dangerous goods. This is probably not even on the radar of politicians – especially the clueless transport secretary Chris Grayling – but at least our civil servants are on the case.
More immediately, there are deep concerns over border controls and the transport of all goods between the UK and EU. After a meeting with Mr Grayling last month, where representatives of the Road Haulage Association raised those concerns, they came away with the impression that there are no credible contingency plans on place; “He is out of touch and lacking in key information,” one of the RHA members told the Daily Telegraph.
Meanwhile, of course, businesses in the UK and their logistics partners are having to try and plan for the unknowable. Whichever way Brexit unfolds it will undoubtedly increase complexity in the supply chain for all manner of goods and add costs, which will inevitably end up with the consumer.
So hang on to your hats: it’s going to be a bumpy ride over the winter!
[post_title] => Political letter from the editor
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => political-letter-editor
[post_modified] => 2018-08-16 12:50:47
[post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-16 11:50:47
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=9978
[menu_order] => 0
[post_type] => post
[comment_count] => 0
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Political letter from the editor
// By Peter Mackay on 16 Aug 2018
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